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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


5. Jesus' Farewell Words to His Disciples (Luke 22:21-38)

LUKE 22:21-23
21 “But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” 
23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.

When Christ had made this joyful covenant with his disciples, and established them in communion with God, he had to reveal to them the truth that each one of them might betray him. He did not identify Judas, but made clear that one of them would deliver him, that none of them might become self-righteous, thinking himself to be better than the others, and condemn the wicked one. He showed them that any one of them might commit such a betrayal.

In fact, the intensity of Christ’s love broke their trust in themselves, and caused them to be ashamed and penitent so that they confessed their lack of goodness and righteousness, trusting the grace of the Lord Jesus who could keep them from such an evil deed.

Christ also said this self-examining statement to Judas that he might repent. But the traitor’s hand trembled when he heard Christ’s reference to his hand, which dipped the sop in the dish together with the hands of Christ and the other disciples.

The Savior, who had earlier proclaimed the covenant with God, expresses now divine woe on his betrayer who would trample on this covenant willfully. The torment and destruction of this man will be horrible and beyond understanding, for he took the Lord’s Supper, bore Christ in his heart, and then denied, hated and betrayed him. Satan himself kindled the hellfire in his conscience, and therefore he was without hope.

Christ saw his own way with divine clarity, from the beginning to the end, consistent with his Father’s will. In order to redeem the evil world, he came to death willingly, and fulfilled his assignment. Yet at the same time he suffered for Judas, the lost sheep who received the fullness of grace, but he trampled it under his feet.

LUKE 22:24-27
24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”

The disciples did not grasp the full significance of the Last Supper. They soon began to argue among themselves as to who would have the highest rank in the kingdom of God. Each one of them accused the other of being the thief and the traitor while considering himself the best, the most faithful, and the one nearest to God. The devil tempted them even at that holy hour of the covenant, for the disciples were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, their Lord preached to them and contrasted them with the kings of the earth. Every servant of the Lord is greater than the greatest king in the world. Our heavenly Father has enough suns to give each one of his children a set of suns. The nature of children of God is not pride and longing for greatness, but humility and service. Yet even service is opposed to falling into the danger of sin. The code of conduct in the new covenant and the fundamental truth of the kingdom of God is that the greatest is a servant of all. Jesus himself, exemplified this rule to us. He humbled himself taking away our sins to the full extent that he was considered a criminal. As he washed his disciples’ dirty feet, so he purifies our polluted hearts, and removes their dirt. Who is the greatest in the church? Is it the young man, or the old man? Christ answers, “It is he who serves humbly.” Who is more famous in heaven? Is it the leader, or the subject? Christ answers: “The humble believer has his name written in heaven.” We shall be surprised in the world to come, when we see that some of the faithful servants are more notable than leaders who are lacking in love. Some of the princes on earth will appear as slaves of their sins in the other world. The kingdom of God turns men’s standards upside down, completely turns the measures of men upside down, making the small great, and the great small. So what about you? Are you small, or great?

LUKE 22:28-30
28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in the kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

What are Christ’s trials? He emptied himself of his glory, and became a weak child, born in a manger, grew up in a corrupt generation, tempted by the devil, proclaimed king by men, prevented from going to the cross with opposition even from his disciples, persecuted, despised, and rejected. Nevertheless, the disciples remained with him, condemned together with him. They all knew that danger lurked for them.

Jesus thanked his followers for their faithfulness, and made his will. What was this will? It was the kingdom, no more, no less. Christ bequeathed to them the very kingdom of God because they followed him in his weakness, and believed in him as Lord, in spite of his humble human form.

He promised them that they would sit with him in the other world, at his table, to partake of his joy, as they had shared his distress on earth. There they will not only meet joyfully, but they will also serve. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the apostles will judge the twelve tribes of Israel, sitting on the thrones of the twelve fathers of their nation. All the chief priests, scribes, lawyers, Pharisees and Sadducees will appear before them, and they will judge them because they did not believe in the divinity of Jesus in spite of seeing his compassion and power. The fishermen of the Sea of Tiberias will be filled and equipped by the Holy Spirit.

Likewise Jesus taught future kings how to serve, fulfilling his promise: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Do you want to partake of the inheritance of the kingdom? Then be a humble servant among your co-workers, washing their feet, and following the example of Jesus.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, You are humble and meek. Forgive my pride and contempt for others. Give me your loving Spirit that I may become a servant to others, and bear my brothers’ burdens. Keep me from temptation that I may love those who hate me and bless them by the power of your word.

QUESTION 131: Why is humility the true greatness?


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